DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Facts and Figures Glossary (Feb. 2005)


TECHNOLOGY OVERHAUL:  In 2001, the Democrats developed a strategic plan to combine new technology with proven strategies for delivering message, mobilizing voters, and raising money. Chairman McAuliffe outlined the 18-month effort in February 2003 to build a computer database of grassroots donors, verify voter records and increase its email list. Up from no voter file, 70k email addresses and only 400k grass roots donors in 2001, the DNC now boasts 2.7 million grassroots donors, a 175+ million voter file and 4 million email addresses. Together with these new resources, the DNC uses “Demzilla,” a database engine for managing voter registration, organizing and donor prospecting efforts.

FUNDRAISING HIGHLIGHTS:  For the first time in 30 years, the DNC out-raised the RNC.  The DNC raised approximately $404 million for the 2004 election cycle.  From Feb.2001-Feb.2005, the DNC raised approximately $535 million, shattering all previous DNC records.  Just in 2004, the DNC raised $360 million to the RNC's $284 million and nearly doubled the 2000 totals with only hard money. 

SPENDING HIGHLIGHTS:  For the 2004 election cycle, the DNC invested an unprecedented $80 million in field organizing and spent a record $131 million for a television advertising campaign. From 2001-2005, the DNC contributed more directly to state parties, House, Senate, Governors’, Mayors’ and down ballot races than in any other time in history.

ORGANIZING STRENGTH:  The DNC recruited over 25,000 trained precinct captains, conducted 530 Organizing Conventions across the country, mobilized 233,000 volunteers, knocked on 11 million doors and made 38 million volunteer phone calls and 56 million paid calls.  Voters say they were contacted at the door, on the phone and in the mail more often by Democrats. 

TURNOUT ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Because of the tremendous investment in ground operation, Democrats significantly increased turnout in 2004 from 2000: 2.5 million more African American voters in 2004, 2.1 million more Hispanics in 2004 and 2.2 million more young people voted in 2004.  Democrats also saw a surge in 1st time voters:  13 million first time voters in 2004 with Democrats winning by four percentage points. 

:  In 2002, Chairman McAuliffe became the first Chairman to change the Democratic presidential primary calendar in 25 years.  He did so to unite the party early behind the Democratic nominee and hold primaries in states like New Mexico, Arizona and South Carolina earlier so the nominating process reflected the true electorate of America.  As it was designed, the change in the calendar united the party early and helped financially the Democratic nominee, John Kerry.  In the first three months after securing the nomination in March 2004, John Kerry raised over $100 million to spend for his campaign against George W. Bush – not against other Democrats in a prolonged primary battle, as was the case in prior years.  When you compare the fundraising totals of previous nominees like Bill Clinton ($4 million in debt when he won the nomination in June 1992) and Michael Dukakis, who won the nomination on June 7, 1988 (only $2 million cash on hand in June 1988), the benefit of a changed calendar in 2004 speaks for itself.  [Cites: NYTIMES, June 24, 1992 and Associated Press, June 21, 1988]

A NEW STATE OF THE ART HEADQUARTERS:  In 2001, Chairman McAuliffe embarked on a capital campaign to build a new, state-of-the-art Democratic Headquarters.  The new headquarters boasts up-to-date technology, new in-house radio and television studios and houses both the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington, DC.  Called "the temple for political training, fundraising and the crafting of positions and strategy” by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, the new headquarters was 100% paid for in cash in 2002 and lowered operating costs by more than $ 400,000 per year.

  After the 2000 election, the Democratic Party created the Voting Rights Institute (VRI) to protect and enforce the right of every American to vote and to ensure that every vote is counted fully and fairly. The VRI focuses on three goals: voter education, voter turnout and voter assistance.
Donna Brazile, former Gore campaign manager, currently serves as the Chair of the VRI. The VRI, in conjunction with the Kerry-Edwards campaign, created the Election Assistance program for 2004. The program linked organizers, lawyers, and other advocates across the country to serve as an army of facilitators for Democratic voters. This army consisted of approximately 17,000 lawyers and organizers across the country, trained to help voters recognize and avoid the intimidation tactics, poor administration, and illegal acts that led to the problems of 2000. The DNC and VRI are currently conducting a thorough joint-investigation of key election administration issues surrounding the 2004 election in Ohio. Though the outcome of the election remains uncontested, this investigation will serve to fulfill the Democratic Party’s commitment to ensuring that every eligible voter can vote and that every vote cast, is counted.

  Chairman McAuliffe and the DNC hosted a “Unity Dinner” on March 25, 2004 to unite the Democratic Party behind Democratic nominee John Kerry following the primary process and raised $11 million – a DNC federal-dollar fundraising record. Democratic nominee John Kerry and former presidents Clinton and Carter, as well as former Vice President Gore and former presidential candidates Howard Dean, Dick Gephardt, Joe Lieberman, Al Sharpton, John Edwards, Wesley Clark and Bob Graham attended the Unity Dinner. 

LOCALIZING DEMOCRATS’ MESSAGE:  The DNC started “Operation Area Code”  in early 2003 to communicate with millions of Americans through their local newspapers, television markets and radio stations by framing the debate and driving the Democratic message in terms of local issues.  Operation Area Code coordinated national and local Democratic leaders, state parties and allies to deliver the Democratic message and counter Republican events through fact-base responses. 

EMPOWERING WOMEN LEADERS:  The DNC founded the Women’s Vote Center (WVC) to educate, engage and mobilize women voters across the nation. The WVC focuses on three goals: 1) recruiting and training women through the Democratic Voices program to act as effective messengers for the party and womens’ issues; 2) investing in an aggressive outreach program to women via the Internet including the Week in Review, an e-newsletter which gives women talking points and issue information each week; and 3) working with state parties and campaigns to target outreach to women voters.

HOSTING ISSUE DEBATES:  For the first time, the DNC hosted six presidential primary debates. The
DNC hosted the first-ever bilingual presidential debate in Albuquerque, New Mexico and partnered with the Congressional Black Caucus to hold a debate in Baltimore, Maryland. The DNC also hosted debates in Phoenix, Arizona, New York, New York, Detroit, Michigan, Des Moines, Iowa and Durham, New Hampshire.

UNPRECEDENTED OUTREACH:  Under Chairman McAuliffe’s leadership, the DNC began an unprecedented outreach effort to the core Democratic constituencies. In addition, the DNC invested over $20 million on base vote field activities, targeted over 14,000 base vote precincts and doubled its minority media budget.  Highlights of the DNC’s outreach include:

African American Outreach:  In addition to the daily outreach of the DNC staff to community leaders all across the country, the DNC has implemented many programs designed to motivate and educate the African American community, including the Family Voting Plan, the VRI, regional trainings for organizers and the African American Leadership Council.  The DNC also has 97 African American members and African Americans hold many of the highest positions at the DNC, including Chief of Staff, Deputy Chair of the DNC and two Vice Chairs of the DNC. 

Hispanic Outreach:  The DNC sponsored the first-ever Spanish language response to the President’s State of the Union Address and hosted the first bilingual presidential primary debate.  Chairman McAuliffe also appointed the largest number of Hispanics to the DNC’s standing committees, highest number of Hispanic delegates to the Democratic Convention and helped found the first and second-ever Latino Leadership Summits, which brought over 300 Hispanic leaders, advocates and issue experts from across the country together to build a comprehensive grassroots strategy to educate and mobilize the Hispanic electorate

GLBT Outreach: Under the leadership of Chairman McAuliffe, the DNC in partnership with the Kerry campaign, embarked upon the most comprehensive GLBT pride outreach program in the history of a national political party and presidential campaign.  During this election year, the DNC manned tables and marched in more than 75 gay pride events in 22 states, taking the DNC's message of equality and fairness to more than four million GLBT and allied voters.  This year's DNC Convention was a historic one for the GLBT community, with a record number of GLBT delegates, standing committee members, DNC members, and staff.

APIA OUTREACH: In 2004, the Democratic Party initiated the largest ever Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) Get Out The Vote program. Over 400 APIA volunteers traveled to battleground states to assist with APIA outreach activities including phone banks, rallies, precinct walks. Over 2,700 APIAs
volunteered through APIA Voice for GOTV efforts, contacting over 300,000 APIA voters via multilingual phone banking. APIA voters were both identified and persuaded in languages including Hmong, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Laotian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Filipino and Hindi.

DISABILITY OUTREACH: For the first time in the history of a national political party or presidential campaign cycle, the DNC organized one of the most aggressive outreach programs exclusively targeted to individuals with disabilities, their families and friends. Due largely to the effectiveness of this program, the Democratic message of equality, inclusion and the right to vote reached millions of people with disabilities, resulting in a record turnout of people with disabilities for the Democratic ticket.

ENGAGING OUR YOUTH:  Chairman McAuliffe and the DNC founded the “Something New” program, an aggressive initiative intended to help mobilize America’s young people. “Something New” is an information session, a rally, a concert and fundraiser all wrapped into one. In all, “Something New” registered thousands of voters and effectively reached more than 100,000 young people—raising almost $5 million for the DNC, nearly 90% from first-time donors. In addition, College Democrats of America (CDA) regularly communicates and provides resources to more than 1,200 chapters—up from less than 300 chapters in 2000—on college campuses in all 50 states. With the help of the CDA, Chairman McAuliffe headlined multiple college-tours to recruit, train and engage young people in the political process.